Making Sense of the Super Bowl


“Super Bowl Sunday is imperial Rome, all armor and battle formations, while the Olympics are still classical Greece: all torches, wreaths and moral uplift.”

– Michael Ignatieff, “Winter Wonder Brand” in the New York Times Magazine

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I think Ignatieff is generally right in his assessment of the Olympics versus the Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean that some Olympics haven’t ratcheted up the stiff nationalistic displays to appear remarkably like imperial Rome — particularly the 1936 Berlin and 2008 Beijing games.

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